Feb 26, 2016 | Featured Web Article

Winter Bird Feeding Tip: The Benefits of Suet

Eastern bluebirds are just one species that will gorge on suet dough when it is offered at a backyard feeding station.

Feed your birds suet. While most humans don't want a lot of fat in their diet, for birds in winter, fat is an excellent source of energy. Suet is, simply, fat. More specifically, it’s the fat that forms around the kidneys of beef cattle. Butchers remove this stuff, and back when every neighborhood had a butcher shop, they used to give it away to bird watchers. Then grocery stores got smart and started selling suet. You've probably seen it: large chunks of white fat wrapped in plastic in the meat case. Birds love suet, and it is especially valuable to insect-eating species during the winter, when insects are scarce or absent from much of the continent. Woodpeckers, bluebirds, warblers, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, wrentits, jays, thrashers, mockingbirds and even sparrows and towhees are all big fans of suet.

What do you think? Tell us!

comments powered by Disqus

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • New to birding...newbie question. We spotted what we thought was a Sapsucker at our patio feeders in December. The folks at our birding supply store told us that Sapsuckers are only here in Summer months and what we saw was a Flicker. I thought I new what a Flicker was and this did not look like a Flicker. It was thinner and more smooth looking but did have the Woodpecker Bill.
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • We just signed up and get your magazine via email. Will we be receiving a printed copy?Ed [email protected]
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • Chickadees are adorable and intelligent. Chickadees have brains that are the most like human brains. Chickadees are personable, lively, and have their own language. Chickadees form lasting pair bonds; and are very good parents. Love.
    by Merl Elton, Tue, 24 Dec 2019
  • I'm still worried about my backyard birds even though myth #3 says they won't starve if I stop feeding in the middle of winter. I'm concerned because I'm moving in a couple of weeks to a new house and the winter's in northern Ohio get pretty challenging. Should I start backing off slowly on there food or just stop when we move?
    by Vince Bove, Sat, 14 Dec 2019
  • Birds make our world a wonderful and beautiful place to live.
    by Mac Eco, Mon, 09 Dec 2019